•Investigates 15 others
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The battle to rid off bad elements in the judiciary received a major boosts, yesterday, as the National Judicial Council (NJC) sacked Justice Musa Ibrahim Anka of the Zamfara State Judiciary for allegedly receiving a bribe of N200,000.
He reportedly collected the bribe from one Zubairu Abdumalik in order to deliver judgment in his favour.
The judge was fined by the Zamfara State government which approved the recommendation of the National Judicial Council in 2011 for his compulsory removal from office.
The Council has also set up 15 committees to investigate various allegations contained in the petitions against 15 judicial officers, including two chief judges.
NJC reached its decision after considering the reports of the two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees on 46 petitions written against judicial officers in the federal and states judiciaries.
Meanwhile, the NJC had at its 83rd meeting under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, dismissed 31 petitions, 29 of which it found unmeritorious. The remaining two written against Justice J. T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court and Justice O. O. Akeredolu, acting Chief Judge of Ondo State were withdrawn at the instance of the petitioners.
Al-Sagr National Insurance Company who wrote against Justice Tsoho withdrew his petition since the judge had delivered the ruling in his case.
Also, Chief Raheem A. Badmus who wrote against Justice Akeredolu also voluntarily withdrew his petition for personal reasons.
A statement by Soji Oye, Director (Information) disclosed that “Council treated the two petitions as withdrawn, since it did not find anything in them sufficiently serious for further consideration as stipulated in Regulation 9 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations.
“Council considered and found worthy of further investigation, the petition written by Azi A. Phillip on behalf of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Plateau State chapter, accusing Hon. Justice P. D. Damulak, the immediate past Chief Judge of Plateau State of bias, for failure to make his judgment in Suit No. PLD/J/236/16 delivered on 4th November, 2016 available to him till the time he wrote the petition,” the statement said.
Council, however, decided not to constitute an investigative committee to look into the matter because the Chief Judge had already retired from service and therefore no longer in the employment of the National Judicial Council.
It also considered and dismissed petitions written against two other judicial officers for lack of merit.
The Judges are Justice Mr. L. T. C. Eruba (High Court of Justice, Abia State) and Grand Kadi Abdullahi Waiya ( Sharia’h Court of Appeal, Kano State).
NJC also issued two letters of advice to Justice M. A. Dada of the Lagos State High Court of Justice and Justice Chukwudi Charles Okaa of the Anambra State High Court for violation of extant laws in the course of their judicial duties based on petition written against them by Dayo Adamolekun, Esq. & Ridwanulah Olanite, Esq. and Reverend F. U. Ekavhiare & Associates respectively.
The statement said Council agreed to report Adesina Ogunlana to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (L.P.D.C.) for misconduct, for the use of uncouth language in a petition written to the NJC against Justice O. O.. Atilade, the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State.